10 Questions With: Former Hamilton Bulldog Brian Willsie
Photo courtesy of The Bulldogs Foundation
I just wanted to start this article off by saying that I was a Brian Willsie fan when he was with the Hamilton Bulldogs. As I do my research and communicating with Brian, I have become a fan of not just Brian Willsie the hockey player but, I have become a fan of Brian Willsie the person. Brian is one of the most down-to-earth, classiest people that I have ever been fortunate to meet. It is a pleasure to do an article on him.
Brian Willsie was born on March 16th, 1978 in Belmont, Ontario. He was drafted 146th overall in the 6th round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche. Here is a little known fact: Brian played with current San Jose Shark, Joe Thornton, when they both were with the St. Thomas Stars and won the Western Junior B League Championship! He also represented Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship in 1998 where he played in 7 Games, scoring 2 assists and had 4 PIM.
Willsie scored 178 points in 186 OHL games and also tallied 410 points in 541 AHL games. Brian has racked up 109 points in 381 NHL career games and is short 19 NHL games to qualify for his NHL pension. Willsie has always been involved in his ccommunity and supporting charitable events. Last season with TPS Turku of the Finnish Elite League, one of Brian’s linemates was former Hamilton Bulldog Corey Locke, together they enjoyed success on the ice.
Q1. Favourite NHL team growing up?
A1. Edmonton Oilers.
Q2. Favourite NHL player growing up?
A2. Wayne Gretzky.
Q3. Where did you play junior hockey?
A3. St. Thomas Stars (Jr. B), Guelph Storm (OHL)
Q4. Most influential person/people in your career and why?
A4. My parents and my wife. My parents gave me the oppurtunity to play and have supported me since I was a kid. My wife is the constant in my career. When you move around the world and live in many different cities and throw kids in the mix, you need somebody as awesome as her!
Q5. Favourite sport other than hockey?
A5. Golf and Baseball.
Q6. Something about you the fans probably wouldn’t know?
A6. I worked construction, building houses for my Dad from the ages of 12-22.
Q7. Do you have any hockey superstitions?
A7. I have a routine I do before games, but nothing superstitious.
Q8. Do you have any hobbies and what are they?
A8. My hobbies are my 9, 6 and 4 year old boys. They keep me busy and I love it!
Q9. Favourite book you’ve read?
A9. Whatever book my sons want read to them before bed.
Q10. Favourite movie?
A10. Bull Durham.
I would like to thank Brian for taking time to do this article with me as it meant a lot to me. Brian has just recently told me he has re-signed with TPS Turku for the 2013-2014 season. I would like to wish Brian and his family all the best.